Wednesday, 17 November 2010

One 4-1 Exchange

Hopperational details
Tuesday 16 November 2010 at Dacre Field, Cockfosters 4 Amersham Town 1 in the South Midlands League Division One (Step 6).

This match in one sentence
Better finishing and one fluke goal from a cross secured a good win for Cockfosters, but Amersham missed a chance to come back from 3-0 to 3-2 which could have turned the tide and set up an interesting finish.

So what?
Cockfosters edge towards mid-table and Amersham Town will be bottom once the record of Sport London e Benfica has been expunged.  Isn’t “expunged” a lovely word?

Who caught the eye on the pitch?
The pitch itself was understandably tricky and it took both teams a little while to adjust.  I can’t definitely confirm any particular names, but there were two key moments.  Cockfosters’ third goal was an outrageous fluke as a deep cross hit the back post and rolled back along and across the line to general surprise.  Nothing the scorer says otherwise will convince me.  (I scored one like that myself once and understand that critical moment that you have to decide whether to pretend you meant it.)  Amersham got one back and were doing most of the attacking and had a decent chance to get a second.  If that had gone in, we might well have had a 3-3 rather than a 4-1.  Cockfosters #9 (possibly Ben Andreos) always wanted the ball and was involved in most of the attacks, providing the fourth which killed the game off.  Amersham’s #12 (definitely Jack, possibly Edmeads) came on and provided my first snood of the season, which he threw aside before I could get my freezing fingers to secure the photographic evidence.

I also felt sympathy for the very young (and very competent) lino whose flag for an obvious foul was overruled by the ref from a distance away.  He had gradually doubled in weight during the evening as Cockfosters mud accumulated in great clumps on his boots as he ran the line, and he was much better placed to see the incident.  I had been worrying earlier about whether he'd had the chance to do his homework before coming out for the evening, but old habits die hard, I guess.  I hope he didn't get too upset by that and that he keeps going with officiating.  The game is going to need him.  (Memo to self: get on to Dragon's Den with Teflon Lower League Lino Boots as soon as possible.)

This match had the same effect on my pulse rate as … 
… slow cooling to a temperature of minus 270 degrees Celsius, in the hope that cryogenics will have advanced enough for me to be thawed out successfully for the 2066 World Cup Sponsored by Bovril in England, so I can watch manager Theo Walcott grapple with the issue of how to fit Frank Lampard the Fourth into a midfield pentagon.

A snippet from the programme
A minute of silence was observed before the game in memory of Cockfosters president Les Langdale, who died on 28 October at the age of 99.  83 of those years had been as a member of the club, being a founder member and elected to the committee at age 16.  The programme outlines his contributions to the grass-roots game as a player, referee, club official and league administrator.  He received a medal from the FA in recognition of 50 years of service to the game.

“It is impossible to appreciate how much Les was a ‘Cockfosters Man’ and how much he contributed to local football over such an incredible lifetime.  Les was Cockfosters thro’ and thro’, he was a member of our club for 83 years.  Even up to his last days, with failing eyesight, he insisted that our latest match-day programme was read to him ‘cover to cover’.”  “83 Years involved with a single Club - now that’s Loyalty with a capital ‘L’ - it’s come to an end now, but will never be forgotten - neither will Les!”

What I learned today
Nothing to do with football, but while working on my other current obsession, my family tree, I learned through an internet contact that I am directly descended from a Horse Trader in Gloucestershire.  This may explain genetically why I was good at managing secondary school budgets.

Hopper Random Talking Point
The fixture schedule for this division has been abandoned because of the resignation of Sport London e Benfica.  Four of Cockfosters’ fixtures in November/December have been rearranged and they end up with six homes and one away before January.  This is also irritating to say the least for Ben Andreos and Dave Pigden.  When the SLeB records are expunged, they lose four and two goals respectively that they scored in an irrelevant 7-1 win over the strugglers.

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